Spain: Rapper appeals three-and-a-half-year prison sentence over lyrics

Spanish rapper Valtonyc (real name Miquel Arenas Beltrán) and his lawyer confirmed they presented an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court to repeal his three-year-and-six-month prison sentence on various charges related to his lyrics, reported Europa Press on 9 March 2017. The Spanish National Court, a High State Court directly under the Supreme Court that […]

Ukraine: Russian Eurovision contestant banned over performance in Crimea

Ukraine’s security service has banned Russian singer Julia Samoilova from entering the country for the next three years due to her giving a performance in Crimea in 2015, thus not allowing her to compete in European song contest Eurovison taking place in capital Kiev in May 2017, reported BBC on 22 March 2017. Geneva-based Eurovision […]

Belarus: Ukrainian writer apprehended and banned from entry

Belarusian security agents apprehended Ukrainian writer and poet Serhiy Zhadan from his hotel in Minsk in the middle of the night of 11 February 2017, detained him overnight in a prison cell and ordered him to leave the country by the end of the day, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on 11 February 2017. Zhadan, […]

Malaysia: Cartoonist arrested after exhibition attack

Cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, popularly known as Zunar, was arrested on 26 November 2016 for breaching the peace under Malaysia’s Sedition Act, just one day after an angry pro-government mob attacked his exhibition of satirical cartoons about the prime minister and other national leaders at the George Town Literary Festival, reported newspaper Free Malaysia Today. […]

Egypt: Satirist troupe released after long detention, restrictions remain

A Cairo court ordered the release of four members of the satirist troupe ‘Street Children’ after it granted their appeal over a tenth renewal of their pre-trial detention that would have extended their already four-month-long imprisonment by 15 more days, though the investigation on various charges related to their online videos will continue, reported Aswat […]

Ukraine: Belarusian singer denied entry due to Crimea concert

Belarusian singer Max Korzh was denied entry into Ukraine on 17 February 2016 where he was due to go on his five-city tour in the country in early March, reported BBC Ukraine on 26 February 2016. While organisers said the tour would be postponed until later in the year, press secretary for Ukraine’s security service […]

Poland: Ukrainian band stopped at border due to local threats

Polish authorities did not let Ukrainian band Ot Vinta cross the border into Poland as local hard-core football fans known as Ultras threatened to stage mass riots and burn down the stage the band was set to perform on if they were let into the country. The band was scheduled to play in a festival […]

China: American singer banned due to Dalai Lama meeting

American pop star Lady Gaga is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of artists banned by China for their meetings with the Dalai Lama or stances on Tibet, reported The Guardian on 28 June 2016. The singer met with the Dalai Lama on 26 June 2016 at the US Conference of Mayors for approximately […]

Niger: Cameroonian singer denied entry visa to hold concert

Nigerian authorities denied Cameroonian singer Franko an entry visa to Niger on moral grounds that his current hit, ‘Coller la petite’, “violates the customs of the country”, reported music industry news portal Music in Africa on 15 February 2016. The singer was scheduled to hold a concert in Niamey on 13 February 2016. Franko’s viral […]

Egypt: Poet banned from travel

Egyptian authorities prevented poet Omar Hazek from traveling to the Netherlands on 14 January 2016 where he was set to accept the 2016 Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression, reported PEN International. Authorities detained and questioned Hazek in Cairo International Airport for five hours, eventually releasing him, but not after confiscating his passport. Authorities […]

UNESCO report: Visas and logistics vex artists

A UNESCO analytic report on the status of the artist, published in September 2015, focuses on four key areas that are affecting artists’ social and economic situations today: digital technologies and the Internet, artist mobility, social protections, and freedom of artistic expression. As the world continues to change with its advances in technology and the […]

Australia considers barring American rapper’s tour

Australia appears set to join the list of countries that have refused to allow entry to the controversial American singer and rapper Chris Brown over his domestic violence record. In 2009, Chris Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, the pop star Rihanna. He has toured Australia twice since, but the government is under pressure […]

Canada: National theatre company of Iraq denied entry

The National Theatre Company of Iraq had to cancel their scheduled performance an award-winning play about refugees, called ‘Camp’, in Canada after the group was denied permission to enter the country. The actors were scheduled to perform at the IMPACT 15 International Theatre Festival in Kitchener, Ontario. Their play tells the stories of two refugees […]

Cuba: Artist Tania Bruguera continues to be retained

After one month of having her only passport confiscated by the Cuban Ministry of the Interior and with no possibilities to exit from Cuba, artist Tania Bruguera – currently under conditional freedom – must wait for another period up to 60 days, so that the Prosecutor may weigh in on the charges brought by the […]

Iran: Prominent musician banned from traveling abroad

The Iranian musician and composer Majid Derakhshani says authorities are preventing him from traveling abroad. Majid Derakhshani told the Iranian daily Etemad on 5 January 2015 that security officials confiscated his passport at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport over the weekend while he was on his way to Dubai. Derakhshani quoted the officials as saying he […]

United Kingdom: Syrian artist denied UK visa will miss his own exhibition

One of Syria’s most prominent artists has been denied a visa to travel to the UK for the opening of his own exhibition in London. Thaier Helal, widely known in Syria for his neo-expressionist works, was denied entry to Britain by the Home Office. He was due to appear at an exhibition of his works […]

USA reportedly excludes artists and writers with Arab names

“Excluding important writers like Nasser from the literary dialogue punishes US readers, reduces their exposure to Arabic writing in translation, and potentially limits American literature,” writes Al Jazeera’s Marcia Lynx Qualey after the Jordanian-British poet and novelist Amjad Nasser recently was prevented from boarding a US-bound flight. Acclaimed leftists writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo […]

Israel: Palestinian artist prevented from travelling to New York for exhibition

The Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar, who is known for his work about the West Bank barrier, has been prevented from travelling to New York for an opening of his exhibition, reported Khaled Jarrar was stopped by the Israeli authorities at the crossing into Jordan, according to the website +972. » The Art Newspaper – 15 […]

China: Artist detained for two weeks and then to be expelled

52-year-old Chinese-born Australian artist Guo Jian was abruptly taken by police from his studio in Songzhuang on 1 June 2014. He will reportedly be “required to depart China” after serving a 15-day period of “administrative detention”. Mr Guo was detained the day after the publication of an interview with him in Financial Times, which featured […]

Lebanon: Theatre director claims ‘victory’ after receiving passport back

Lebanese theatre director Lucien Bourjeily said General Security returned his passport which the security apparatus had confiscated for unclear reasons. Lucien Bourjeily announced on his Facebook page that it was a “victory” over what he called an arbitrary confiscation and a curb on his freedom of movement. The director was shortlisted for a Freedom of […]

Zimbabwe: South African band deported

The South African pop group Freshly Ground was immediately sent packing soon after it touched down at the Harare International Airport on 4 May 2014, but reasons for the deportation remained sketchy with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke saying he was equally puzzled by the development. According to News Day, informed sources […]

Tunisia: Two musicians denied access to perform at festival

The organising committee of the festival L’Angar, supported by Turning Tables in Tunis, announced that entry on Tunisian territory has been denied two of the festival’s scheduled artists: El Rass from Libanon (real name: Mazen El Sayyed) and Al Sayed Darwish from Syria (real name: Sawah). The unofficial reason was given orally from a representative […]

Iran: Passport of Swedish-Iranian actress confiscated by police

The Iranian actress Maryam Moghaddam, who lives in Sweden and who participated in the controversial film ‘Closed Curtain’, remains stuck in Iran after she received a travel ban and her passport was confiscated by Iranian police. Maryam Moghaddam traveled from Sweden to Iran to visit her mother in a family matter in early March 2013, […]

Iran: Travel ban on film director

In the past two years, the Iranian government has moved from merely banning films – most of which were allowed to be released internationally – to arresting actors and filmmakers, reported PressPlay. Jafar Panahi is the highest-profile director to suffer such treatment. A harsh legislative decision banned the Iranian director from filmmaking and travelling for […]

German poet barred from visiting Israel

Israel has declared the 84-year-old Nobel Prize-winning German poet Günter Grass a persona non grata.   On 7 April 2012, Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai declared Günter Grass a persona non grata in Israel because he published a poem claiming that Israel is endangering world peace by threatening Iran. Eli Yishai said in a statement […]



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